Putin predicted inflation of about 4% :: Politics :: RBC

Vladimir Putin

(Photo: kremlin.ru)

With minimal losses, the Russian economy will overcome the crisis that has arisen due to the coronavirus pandemic, and inflation will reach about 4% in the near future. This was stated by President Vladimir Putin in an interview with the program “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin “on the channel” Russia 1 “.

“Now the year was 3%. Even in today’s conditions, we set ourselves a benchmark of 4%, ”the head of state said, noting that in 1997 inflation was at 11%.

Putin also added that economic reserves have grown 50 times since the 1990s, when Russia was the world’s poorest country.

In May, Rosstat announced the acceleration of annual inflation in April to 3.1% in annual terms (2.5% in March).

Putin said that inflation in Russia does not exceed the previously set framework, and the macroeconomy was managed to be kept in a “working condition”.


US called Russia condition for extending strategic offensive arms treaty :: Politics :: RBC

Russia must persuade China to join negotiations on the extension of the strategic offensive arms treaty, said US Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingsley

Marshall Billingsley

(Photo: Ints Kalnins / Reuters)

Special Representative of the US President for Arms Control Marshall Billingsley called the main condition for the extension of the Russian-American strategic offensive arms agreement (START), the newspaper The Washington Times reports. The American leader Donald Trump appointed Billingsley to this position a little less than a month ago, on April 10.

“Russia should convince the Chinese to also sit at the negotiating table,” said the presidential envoy.

According to Billingsley, “one of the main problems with the new START Treaty – among its many other shortcomings – is that the Chinese do not participate in it.” He noted that the agreement was more advantageous for Russia than the United States, and added that Washington was not interested in “arms control for the very fact of arms control.”

On the eve of May 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump held telephone conversations. During the conversation, the latter “reaffirmed that the United States is committed to effective arms control, which includes not only Russia but also China, and is ready for future discussions to avoid an expensive arms race”, reported White House spokesman Judd Deere.

Foreign Ministry Appreciates US Readiness to Extend START-3 Agreement

Photo: Gregory Bull / AP


Experts noted a record reduction in jobs in the service sector :: Business :: RBC

Against the background of this reduction, as well as pessimistic expectations for the next year, service companies have sharply accelerated staff reductions.

“The sudden shock to the business environment became apparent in April, when the influx of new orders dried up and companies reduced employment at a historically record pace,” Jones notes.

In mid-April, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to pay small and medium-sized enterprises for each employee, provided that at least 90% of their staffing level is 12 130 rubles each. per month, which is equal to the current minimum wage. However, according to the president of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Russia (RFiO) Igor Bukharov, most of the restaurants and cafes that make up a significant part of service enterprises cannot count on a subsidy, since such payments are not supposed for those who sell alcohol. According to Bukharov, due to the lack of adequate assistance from the state, more than 70% of Russian cafes and restaurants can leave the market.

The European Commission has predicted Russia’s fall in GDP is double the sanctioned

On May 6, the head of the Ministry of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov said that according to the results of April, the indicator of economic activity in Russia decreased by 33%.

According to the forecast of the European Commission published on the same day, Russia’s GDP in 2020 will decrease by 5%, which will be the worst result since 2009 and more than double the recession of 2015, when the sanctions imposed by the West became the reason for the deterioration in the economy.

Over the past 24 hours, more than 11 thousand cases of COVID-19 infection have been detected in Russia; Russia has reached the fifth place in the world in the total number of infections. On Thursday, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin signed a decree on tightening restrictions, requiring all public transport passengers and store visitors to wear masks and gloves. The mayor also extended the previously imposed restrictions on the work of non-food stores, cafes, restaurants and other enterprises in the service sector until May 31.

Coronavirus spread rate in Russia

Cases per day

Source: Federal and Regional Anti-Virus Activities

Russian data i


The price of Brent crude oil rose by more than 5% :: Economy :: RBC

The growth was more than 5.7% for Brent crude oil and more than 7.2% for WTI. Oil quotes rise in price after the entry into force of a new OPEC + deal on May 1 to record a reduction in raw material production



$ 25.28


Photo: Andronov Alexey / TASS

Photo: Andronov Alexey / TASS

The cost of the July futures for Brent crude oil rose by 5.79% and reached $ 27.97 per barrel, according to trading data on the ICE exchange in London. The price of WTI American oil with delivery in June added 7.23% and is trading at $ 21.21 (data as of 23:48 Moscow time).

Oil quotes began to grow after the entry into force on May 1 of the new OPEC + deal to reduce daily production by almost 10 million barrels. On the morning of May 1, the price of Brent crude for July delivery rose by more than 2% and exceeded $ 27 per barrel (at maximum Brent futures then cost $ 27.7). The price of the June WTI oil futures on May 1 at the moment exceeded $ 20.3.

In early March, OPEC + member countries were unable to agree to extend the deal. It ceased to operate on April 1, and the oil production limits set in the cartel were thus lifted: now countries themselves could regulate their production of raw materials.

Dvorkovich predicted the price of oil by the end of the year

X5 transferred the staff of the Perekrestok network to a four-day week :: Business :: RBC

Photo: Sergey Kiselev / AGN “Moscow”

Since May 1, employees of the Perekrestok chain have been switching over to a four-day working week with lower wages, a source close to the largest Russian retailer X5 Retail Group told RBC (it also develops Pyaterochka and Karusel stores). The company representative confirmed this data, stressing that changes in the work schedule and salaries apply only to office employees.

All Perekrestok office staff, including management, are switching over to a four-day workweek from May until quarantine measures are lifted, a spokesman said. Reduced working days will also lead to a proportional reduction in employee salaries – by 20%.

Thus, the company expects to reduce costs to maintain business profitability while reducing part of the revenue in supermarkets located in shopping centers. As the representative of the company explains, more than 50% of Perekrestok chain stores operate in the shopping center, some of which the company was forced to close. As of March 31, 2020, the network consisted of 846 supermarkets.

Non-working stores put pressure on total revenue in April; the negative effect may continue in May due to the continuation of the non-working day regime. According to the company, in order to optimize costs, the network adjusted the number of openings and reconstructions of supermarkets, reduced corporate events and marketing activities, and works with optimizing rental costs.

The consequences of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus required additional costs: special payments to store employees who are “at the forefront” in conditions of increased risk, as well as full provision of all employees with personal protective equipment. As previously reported by the chief executive of X5 Igor Shekhterman, in March alone, the company spent at least 1 billion rubles. to purchase masks, thermometers and disinfectants for the employees of their stores. The company has not yet provided a full assessment of the impact of coronavirus on its activities.


Skolkovo estimates losses of fuel and energy complex due to pandemic and falling oil prices :: Business :: RBC

  • Even in the most optimistic price, Urals will not exceed $ 32 per barrel (on Friday, April 24, Urals was trading at $ 16.39 per barrel in northwestern Europe), while Russia’s oil revenues will fall by 2.5 times compared to 2019 – from $ 124 billion to $ 49 billion. With this option, low oil prices mostly hit the budget, but for oil companies the situation is still comfortable.
  • In an intermediate scenario, if demand falls by 11 million barrels. and not all countries comply with the agreement – Urals will drop in price to $ 20–22 per barrel, export revenues will fall four times to $ 30 billion, and new oil projects will be on the verge of profitability. Earlier, Energy Minister Alexander Novak estimated the cost of oil production in old fields in Russia to $ 7 per barrel, and in new fields at $ 15–20 per barrel.
  • In the worst-case scenario, producers, despite a large-scale drop in demand, again increase oil production and unleash a war for sales markets. Urals is getting cheaper to $ 13-15 per barrel, oil exports are falling at a record 3 million barrels per day, which forces the company to further reduce production. In this case, Russia’s export earnings will collapse by almost 11 times, to $ 12 billion. The federal budget will lose one third of all revenues in the form of export duties on oil and oil products and most of the mineral extraction tax (6.8 trillion rubles in 2019). New oil projects will begin to operate at a loss, existing ones will be on the verge of profitability.

The scenario of a new oil war of all against all will be a disaster for the market, but so far it seems unlikely, expert from the Skolkovo Energy Center Yekaterina Grushevenko shared her opinion with RBC. It is possible if individual countries do not fulfill the agreement and Saudi Arabia decides to increase production and thus punish the offender, and at the same time the entire market. This happened in March, when Russia refused to further reduce production under the previous OPEC + deal, and Riyadh promised to increase oil supplies by more than 25% and promised discounts to buyers. But this war will again be short, as the oil storage facilities are almost full, Grushevenko concludes. According to her, if this scenario is excluded, the maximum drop in Russia’s GDP in 2020 may not be 13%, but a maximum of 10%.

Oil workers start selling gas at a loss

Why 2020 will be difficult

Despite the decline in production, tough price competition may continue for some time in the world: manufacturers are not ready to lose their share in the collapsed market. Saudi Arabia has not canceled a discount of more than $ 10 per barrel to Brent for Europe. This puts pressure on the price of Urals, which is usually sold at a discount of $ 3-5 per barrel for a basket of light North Sea oils (North Sea Dated also takes into account the price of Brent in the physical market), but at the end of last week it suddenly became more expensive than the standard.

Russia will have to quickly cut production. In May-June, Russian companies will have the largest volumes of reduction compared to March 2020 – 1.8 million barrels. against 1.2 million barrels per day in Saudi Arabia. As a result, in 2020, oil production in Russia will decrease by 45 million tons to 515 million tons (including gas condensate). The state may have to change the existing taxation so that oil companies do not decommission the most efficient fields that do not yet receive tax benefits.

Gas prices at a minimum, increased competition in Russia

The global gas industry has suffered less from the pandemic than the oil industry. The demand for gas is mainly formed by industry, the electric power industry and households, which were not affected as much by quarantines as transport is the main driver of demand for oil and oil products.

Nevertheless, in 2020, gas demand will decline in all markets; in Europe and China, the decline will be 30 billion and 20 billion cubic meters. m respectively. As a result, Gazprom’s exports to Europe could fall by at least 15-30 billion cubic meters. m (in 2019, exports amounted to 193 billion cubic meters). According to the experience of previous crises, in the Russian market gas demand may fall by 5–6% with a fall in GDP by 5–8%, experts at the Skolkovo Energy Center indicate.

Excess gas supply in the market and demand falling due to coronavirus also caused a sharp drop in prices. In Europe, by mid-April 2020, the gas price at the British NBP site broke the psychological mark of $ 2 per million BTUs ($ 70 per 1,000 cubic meters). This is a minimum since 1999 and corresponds to the level of subsidized gas prices in central Russia. In Asia, the cost of gas at the Platts JKM index in April fell to the lowest level ever recorded at $ 2.8 per 1 million BTUs (slightly less than $ 100 per 1,000 cubic meters).

After the end of the epidemic, gas companies may face financing problems, and the most capital-intensive hippo projects may not find money at all if they do not get strong state support, experts say the energy center.

Gas sale in Russia has become more profitable than export

Photo: Sergey Krasnoukhov / TASS

An unusual situation has arisen in Russia because of regulatory peculiarities: domestic gas prices have become higher than export netbacks (the price is abroad after payment of the export duty and transportation costs). On the one hand, this will increase competition for the most profitable consumers in the domestic market, on the other hand, these consumers may begin to demand from the state to lower domestic prices to European prices, the study said.

Energy Rates May Exceed Inflation

The long-term consequences of the crisis for the Russian electric power industry can be very serious, Skolkovo experts write. In contrast to world prices, Russian electricity prices fell slightly due to regulatory peculiarities. Up to 50% of the tariff, industrial consumers pay for the delivery of electricity through the network, as well as for capacity, the price of which is fixed for a period of one year to 20 years, and does not decrease due to a drop in consumption (3-7% in the first half of April). For the population, prices are completely regulated.

Fixing the total payment for electricity amid low consumption may result in higher prices above inflation, experts warned. All large-scale long-term investment programs, which lead to the formation of high fixed payments (the construction of thermal power plants and green power plants under capacity supply agreements, network investment programs, etc.), were planned based on a steady increase in electricity demand and economic growth of 1– 3% per year.

Companies will be forced to cut back on investments, and this threatens lenders and contractors with the loss of investments already made.

To support profits, energy can cut back on repair costs. This is especially dangerous for small heat-supplying organizations, and network accidents can become more frequent in small cities in the winter of 2020–2021.

But one of the main risks for Russian and global energy is non-payment for electricity and heat, experts at the Skolkovo Energy Center point out. All over the world, companies and entire states initiate deferrals of payments, preferential tariffs, and temporarily refuse to disconnect non-payers. But the stability margin of energy companies is not unlimited: for example, European owners of distribution networks will have a shortage of working capital in two to three months due to non-payments, which will lead to a breakdown of short-term obligations in the ordinary course of business, the industry union Energy Community Distribution System Operators warned. Payments to Russian companies for electricity and heat supply could be reduced by 50%, the Council of Energy Producers estimated.

“The global economic recovery after the pandemic also poses additional threats to the Russian fuel and energy complex,” Tatyana Mitrova, director of the Center for Energy at the Skolkovo Business School, told RBC. Increasingly, governments and international organizations are calling for a low-carbon path to stimulate the economy. Thanks to the crisis, the Russian oil and gas sector received every reason to reassess the industry’s prospects and develop a new development model in the context of decarbonization, the expert said.


Russia Moscow Peace

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Source: JHU,
federal and regional
anti-virus operations

Source: JHU, federal and regional anti-virus operations


LUKOIL will suspend 20% of drilling in Western Siberia :: Business :: RBC

Contractors working on land projects in Western Siberia and Komi are notified of the suspension of contracts, but are asked to retain staff to resume work in November. An interlocutor close to one of LUKOIL’s major contractors believes that it will be impossible to fully maintain the number of employees. According to him, the reduction may amount to at least 30% of the staff, and for individual projects up to 100%, if the oil companies do not pay for downtime. He hopes there will be compensations, especially if the government agrees on the support of oilfield services companies.

Fedun compared the OPEC + agreement with the Brest Peace

Amid falling world oil prices – from $ 72 per barrel in early January to $ 25 – LUKOIL decided in March to cut spending by $ 1.5 billion (about 20%), co-owner and president of the company Vagit Alekperov told reporters. But then he emphasized that the reduction does not apply to those projects that are directly related to the provision of geological exploration and oil production.

After the largest oil producers agreed on April 12, under the OPEC + deal, a record reduction in production by 9.7 million barrels. per day (about 20% for the alliance) since May 1, due to a drop in demand caused by coronavirus, Russian oil companies are forced to proportionally reduce production: in accordance with this transaction, Russia should reduce production by 18% (1.8 million barrels). ) – up to 8.5 million barrels. per day.

Urals became more expensive than North Sea oil

Photo: Eric Gay / AP

Under the new agreement, OPEC + LUKOIL will reduce oil production by 18% – by more than 40 thousand tons per day, Alekperov said. “And I think that we and all other companies will fulfill this amount, which was brought to us by the Ministry of Energy,” he said (quoted by Interfax).

“For the oil industry, this is (a reduction in production in Russia to 8.5 million barrels per day. – RBC) just a shock! ” – said in an interview with RBC Vice President and another co-owner of LUKOIL Leonid Fedun. “I understand all the engineers and technologists who work selflessly in the wells. For them, shutting a well is scary. And then this will happen in large numbers. We will have to drastically reduce drilling, repairs, and most likely, we will have to close the low-efficient oil well fund, ”he pointed out.

Alekperov and Fedun expect that after the start of the OPEC + agreement, the price of oil will rise to $ 30 per barrel.

RBC sent a request for plans to reduce drilling and exploration to Rosneft, Gazprom Neft and Surgutneftegaz.

What other risks are there due to reduced production

LUKOIL, before the coronavirus pandemic, was planning in 2020 to increase investments in exploration by one and a half times – up to 66 billion rubles, said Vice President of the company Ilya Mandrik in December 2019. Funds were supposed to go including drilling, both in Russia and on the shelf of Mexico.

Fedun – RBC: “Without the OPEC + deal, we would have to reduce production to 50%”

Photo: Oleg Yakovlev / RBC

Now the company can not only reduce drilling, but also close a number of fields in Komi at the LUKOIL-Ukhtaneftegas fields, Reuters wrote April 23, citing a source familiar with the company’s plans. However, LUKOIL then told the agency that it did not plan to close its oil producing enterprises, considering options for reducing production volumes “with the least impact on economic indicators.”


Air Canada will reduce more than 15 thousand employees due to coronavirus :: Business :: RBC

Photo: Cole Burston / Getty Images

Canada’s largest airline, Air Canada, will temporarily reduce more than 15,000 employees due to the limited number of flights due to the spread of coronavirus. About it reported on the company website.

In addition, 1.3 thousand managers will go on unpaid leave, the site says. The measures will take effect on April 3.

According to Kalina Rovinescu, Executive Director of the airline, a significant reduction in the number of employees is necessary due to the sharp restriction of flights in the near future due to measures on the coronavirus.

Coronavirus pandemic. The most relevant on March 31

Air traffic restriction is one of the key measures in most countries to combat coronavirus. On the eve of March 30, Russia introduced regular measures to reduce the number of accepted international flights. According to the decision of the Federal Air Transport Agency, the number of passengers arriving from abroad to Moscow should not exceed 500 people per day.


What happened over night. The main news of RBC :: Society :: RBC

Cafes, parks and churches will be closed in Moscow, market participants assessed the impact of the pandemic on the economy, Russian tourists are stuck in quarantined countries, the crash of the Su-27 over the Black Sea; the main news – in the review of RBC

Moscow tightens restrictive measures due to coronavirus

Next week in Moscow will be limited to visiting not only restaurants, cafes and parks, but also churches, synagogues and mosques, told RBC sources in the metropolitan government. On the closure of entertainment outlets in Moscow on Wednesday evening announced Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

  • The Moscow mayor believes that in many respects, overseas holiday lovers have influenced the distribution of COVID-19 in Russia. According to him, half of the citizens who returned from abroad passed through Moscow. “Muscovites themselves, a fairly large proportion of them, like to travel abroad. <…> Many visited Courchevel, brought just a suitcase of viruses from there, ”- said Sobyanin on the air of the TVC channel.
  • He believes that the peak incidence has not yet been passed, the city is still at the beginning of the journey.
  • According to the latest official data, in Russia 658 cases of infection with a new type of coronavirus were recorded, most of them in Moscow. Over the past day, two patients with coronavirus infection have passed away. These were elderly people 88 and 73 years old.
  • Total in the world by given Johns Hopkins University, almost 460 thousand people were infected with a new disease, more than 20 thousand people became its victims. Most died in Italy (7.5 thousand people), Spain (3.6 thousand) and China (3.3 thousand).

How the coronavirus pandemic and falling oil prices will affect finances and the economy

Experts and market participants evaluated the prospects for the development of the Russian economy in the face of a collapse in oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, they predict an increase in mortgage rates, a refusal of borrowers to pay debts and a reduction in investments by Russian companies.